ANDERSON, S.C. – After finalizing his coaching staff for the 2014 season on Thursday, Anderson University men’s soccer head coach Michael Zion has announced his first-ever recruiting class as the head coach of the Black and Gold, signing seven recruits who will look to make an immediate impact in 2014.
Zion returns a strong portion of a team that earned its fourth straight trip to the South Atlantic Conference Tournament championship last season, before falling to conference newcomer Queens. With a projected six seniors on the current roster for this season, a key recruiting class will look to fill the voids left by the experienced class.
Name: Alexander Beck
Hometown: Smorum, Denmark
Previous School: Ledoje-Smorum
Beck began his youth career with Broendby I.F. and local club, Ledoje-Smorum Foldbold, where he has been an iatrical part of helping the team win the U-19 Third Division championship and earn promotion into the Second Division. Following the season, Beck was honored with the team’s “Fighter of the Year” award for his hard work on and off the field. Beck has been recently featured with the first-team of Ledoje-Smorum, scoring on his debut with the club. In the classroom, Beck will pursue a degree in Psychology, in hopes of becoming a sports psychologist.
Zion on Beck: “Alex is a natural left-sided player that we see competing at the left-back position right away. He has the ability to defend as well as attack, which will create some fantastic attacking options for us on the left side."
Name: Michael LaGreca
Hometown: Lithia, Fla.
Previous School: Spartanburg Methodist / Coker
LaGreca is a transfer from Spartanburg Methodist where he was featured in 18 of SMC’s 20 matches. The Lithia, Fla. native helped the Pioneers reach a 14-6 overall record before falling short to Louisburg College in the NJCAA Region X final.
Zion on LaGreca: “Mike is a natural left-sided defender who will bring a great deal of maturity and experience to a relatively young team. Mike is an experienced player who knows what it takes to compete and win at this level. We are very excited to have him at Anderson University.”
Name: Magnus Larsen
Hometown: Brondby, Denmark
Previous School: Brondby Gymnasium
Larsen joins the Black and Gold from Brondby Gymnasium in Denmark. As a youth player, Larsen has been a part of Brondby I.F., playing against historical European clubs such as: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Magnus studied sports science in high school and will pursue a degree in Kinesiology once he comes to AU.
Zion on Larsen: “Being involved in a top youth program in Denmark, Magnus will bring a great deal of professionalism and experience to our team. We expect him to make an immediate impact and strengthen or midfield core.”
Name: Jonathan Love
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Previous School: Hickory Grove Christian H.S.
Love comes to AU as a two-time all-conference selection, after leading Hickory Grove Christian to an undefeated conference record. Love was named captain of the squad and was later named the team’s MVP following his senior season. Love has played for both Charlotte Soccer Academy and, most recently, for the Wesley Chapel-Weddington Athletic Association (WCWAA) Academy team.
Zion on Love: “Jonathan has a great mentality and strong leadership qualities. We are looking forward to seeing him impact this team in a positive way.”
Name: Jonathan Low
Hometown: Summerville, S.C.
Previous School: Pinewood Preparatory School
Low was a two-year starter during his prep career as he helped Pinewood Prep reach the state finals in 2013. Low was selected to participate in the prestigious Boys State Program and, as a result, has been selected for the Presidential Leadership Scholarship. A member of the Beta Club and National Honors Society in high school, Low plans to major in biology at AU.
Zion on Low: “Jonathan is a strong athlete and has a good defensive presence on the field. We know that he will make an impact at Anderson.”
Name: Malik McDonald
Hometown: Charleston, S.C.
Previous School: Charleston Charter H.S.
As an all-state selection, McDonald was an instrumental part of helping Charleston Charter reach the 2014 South Carolina State championship. McDonald also played club soccer for the North Area Soccer Association (NASA) out of Charleston, S.C.
Zion on McDonald: “We are excited to have Malik join us at AU. He is very athletic and has the potential to be a great attacking asset for us.”
Name: Nans Noel
Hometown: Toulose, France
Previous School: Toulouse School of Academics
Prior to coming to Anderson, Noel has played with the youth teams of Pau FC and Rodez Aveyron. Most recently, Noel was a member of Blagnac, helping his team capture a regional championship.
Zion on Noel: “Nans is a natural fullback who has a great ability to combine and get involved in the attack. We fully expect him to contend for a roll in the starting eleven and we are very excited Nans is coming to AU."
Anderson kicks off its regular season with three straight road contests before coming back to the Upstate on Sept. 17 when it hosts archrival Erskine. That match is scheduled for 4 p.m.